Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Eyra

Option-based Conversation in an MMO

This topic is 3090 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm considering featuring option-based conversation, as seen in games like Neverwinter Nights, Fallout 3, and Mass Effect, in a design for an MMO. Similar to Mass Effect, your options in conversation (bluffing, persuading, etc) would depend on a number of statistics. I was also planning on mimicking Morrowind to a degree in that the topics a player could talk about would be limited to subjects they discover through listening, reading, or other means. The overall purpose of this feature would be to make communication more of a part of the game. I can't decide, however, if this feature would work best alongside chat, or if I could get away with replacing chat altogether. What are your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Wait, replacing chat between _players_? That seems like it would really restrict conversation within the game. o.O I mean normally in an MMO, whether on region chat or in guild or party chat, you discuss all sorts of things from strategy for a dungeon to who can craft something for someone else, to external topics like homework, relationships, hobbies...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Wait, replacing chat between _players_? That seems like it would really restrict conversation within the game. o.O I mean normally in an MMO, whether on region chat or in guild or party chat, you discuss all sorts of things from strategy for a dungeon to who can craft something for someone else, to external topics like homework, relationships, hobbies...


Yes, it also strikes me as a bit extreme, and I'm grateful for your feedback. I was hoping players might appreciate it if it was included as a more immersing alternative to chat, at least. If chatting was present, however, I'm worried that the purpose of the option-based conversation would be completely defeated.

I'm beginning to think it's just not meant to be, but I thought I'd better ask around first, just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Eyra
If chatting was present, however...
If chatting isn't present, everyone will either a) play a different game, or b) use an external chat solution.

As I see it, MMOs are at their heart about communicating with other players, and you don't want to screw too much with the method of communication.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was afraid of that. Ho hum, I guess I'll just have to think of some other way for speech-related skills to find their way into a multiplayer setting. I suppose that's a subject for another post, some other time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe don't give up on this just yet.

I'd be curious to know if people put much effort into breaking the Alliance / Horde language barrier in World of Warcraft. If not, that's at least one place to start in that you have factional identities which people could easily circumvent but choose not to.

I think you have to not think of this as player affecting NPC as in SP RPGs with a human in the role of NPC. If you duplicate something they can already do, but make it more cumbersome and limited, then they won't do it. There needs to be a gameplay reason.

You could offer regular chat but then, in keeping with your world's lore, offer "the trade language" or "the royal language" which in effect is a kind of spellcasting, in that the purpose of using it is to cause effects in the larger world. For instance, let's say you want to kill a tavern owner. Rather than sneaking up on him, you decide to start a ruckus in the tavern. In order to do this, you decide to commit sedition, angering the loyal locals. So you go into a crowded bar and start discussing the illegitimacy of the king. Players and NPCs alike who are aligned with the king get rage bonuses, a huge fight ensues, and you use the cover of the battle to get rid of your target, who may or may not be an NPC.

I think if you do this it can't be a substitute for conversation, though, it has to provide something that players could not get accomplished any other way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
People do like to use emotes to talk to each other, either the kind where your avatar gestures or the kind where a smiley appears above your head and in chat. If you want people to use your dialogue options to talk to each other, maybe you should implement them as emotes, but giving npcs the extra ability to understand and be affected by them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One point in strong favor of pre-canned conversations and phrase options (possibly not as restricted and instant limited as most RPGs) is that of internationalization.

If I am always clicking options to form my communications, then it doesn't matter who I'm talking to. It could be someone down the road from me, or it could be some Chinese person who doesn't know a word of English. But I can still communicate with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
You could offer regular chat but then, in keeping with your world's lore, offer "the trade language" or "the royal language" which in effect is a kind of spellcasting, in that the purpose of using it is to cause effects in the larger world. For instance, let's say you want to kill a tavern owner. Rather than sneaking up on him, you decide to start a ruckus in the tavern. In order to do this, you decide to commit sedition, angering the loyal locals. So you go into a crowded bar and start discussing the illegitimacy of the king. Players and NPCs alike who are aligned with the king get rage bonuses, a huge fight ensues, and you use the cover of the battle to get rid of your target, who may or may not be an NPC.

Not unlike the "rockerboys" in Cyberpunk 2020 who have a skill which is about stirring up, mobilizing and convincing crowds, e.g. to create a semi-organized riot led by the rockerboy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!